Today we are picnicking overlooking the croquet lawn at Ladew Topiary Gardens under a darling red and white striped awning! 
Ladew Topiary Gardens, located in Monkton MD is the most outstanding topiary garden in America. Situated on 250 acre of beautiful Maryland countryside, Ladew boasts 22 acres of fabulous gardens with more than 100 topiaries. This horticulture treasure literally has beauty in every corner!
We have found a breathtaking spot to spread our picnic!
The vintage  iron picnic table is covered with a crisp white tablecloth and set for 2.  
The color palate is soft and dreamy to reflect the idyllic surroundings. 
Each place is set with a stack of white, green and pink dinnerware… no paper plates for this upscale picnic!
My beloved leaf and berry chargers and dinner plates are called into service for this picnic.  So are ruffled edged green plates, that echos the ruffles in the pillows, and  my vintage rose designed Limoges.
Small galvanized pots holds Annabelle hydrangeas and a single blush colored garden rose. They mirror the garden theme and give homage to the rose garden, just beyond the hedge.

The centerpiece is a  large creamy pitcher filled with hydrangeas and roses.

Pink scalloped napkins with organza overlays are caught up with pink beaded napkin ring. They look so fluffy and flirty! 

Beautiful goblets, over 80 years old are filled with pink lemonade from a glass decanter. 


All is ready

Grilled Chicken And Fresh Mozzarella Sandwiches With Pesto Mayonnaise
Pasta Salad
Carrot And Roasted Beet Salad
Mixed Berry Individual Pies

Won’t you join me… a seat is waiting just for you!

Scenes from Ladew Gardens

The Back Story…
Last year I was so honored when Mimi of Belle Inspiration, a gorgeous and wildly successful e-magazine, asked me to write an article about the art of picnicking. I was thrilled she asked and knew just the perfect picturesque spot for a romantic picnic… Ladew Gardens.
Working with all the kind people at Ladew was a joy! They were so accommodating and helpful. The picnic article actually became two articles, the second an image intense look at Ladew and it’s rich history.
These are some of the pictures I took for the article.  What the idyllic  calmness of these images don’t give away is that it was 100 degrees at 10:00 am and dripping with humidity! Everything was melting, wilting, sliding off the plates and I was wringing wet! Notice, there are no ice cubes in the lemonade… they melted in the first 30 minutes!  As you might be able to tell, by the time I got set up I was taking pictures in the heat of the day.  The sun just poured down on top of me. Not the best light for taking pictures either.
At one point I was so overcome by the heat I had to sit in my SUV for 30 minutes with the air conditioning full blast. 
This photo shoot took weeks to plan and coordinate, a day of cooking and getting the food together, a very early morning loading dishpans full of picnic paraphernalia into my car, several trips lugging the picnic from the parking lot at Ladew to the picnic site in a red wagon, a couple hours of set up and  250 pictures and 6 hour of photography
With all the behind the scenes dirty laundry revealed I can honestly say, I would do it again! It was my first experience writing an article for a magazine and it was fabulous!  A big thanks to Mimi ( she truly is one of the sweetest ladies on the face of the earth… truly!) for having faith in me and honoring me with the cover shot of the premiere issue of Belle Inspiration.
Belle Inspiration
 If you are not a subscriber to Belle Inspiration you should certainly check it out. It is a magazine dedicated to beauty and “la joie de vivre”! Click HERE  for information about BI.
I am participating in…
~Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps On The Porch
~PINK SATURDAY at How Sweet The Sound


  1. says

    You sure did pick a beautiful setting for a picnic. Everything is just lovely. Love the pink and green together. The bitty one loves the horse hedge! She wants one now!

    BTW – the haircut is up!

  2. says

    You are an inspiration to me, to put all this together outdoors, everything was just beautiful, the menu divine, and I would never have known from your photos how hot and humid it was! xo

  3. says

    i so loved this, i remember it like it was yesterday, but whats funny is i am a huge garden girl, i don’t remember seeing all those fab other shots, but your picnic is seared in my eyes :) so love all you share, it is a visual feast everytime~

  4. says

    I remembered this from last year! It is so elegant! I felt honored then, and now, knowing you were given such a high honor for this magazine cover. You, truly, are an inspiration to us all.
    P.S. Many have no concept at all the behind the story happenings. Thank you for sharing that it’s not all “a bed of roses”!

  5. says

    I can just picture you sitting in the SUV with the air blasting on you trying to regain your “senses” in the heat. It is a beautiful setting both in the gardens and your choice of tablescape.

  6. says

    I just about groan every time I read your blog and see your tablescapes…they just about kill me. Hahaha….everything is SO BEAUTIFUL, SO LOVELY, SO CHARMING! You do an exceptional job with your photos and your tablesettings. It makes all of us go up a notch when planning what to do! This post is beyond lovely…the setting is beautiful, the garden, the roses…all perfect.
    Have a blessed week.

  7. says

    Yvonne…you did such a beautiful job and went above and beyond all expectations. This is the ultimate in outdoor eating and entertaining. You deserve the magazine cover!


  8. says

    Yvonne those goblets are they Fostoria (or something like that.) They look like my mother’s–she said they were for ice tea–I love using them. Mine would be about 70 years old. :-) Lovely table!

  9. says

    Such an honor, congrats! I loved viewing the beautiful gardens, Your tablescape in devine! You always inspire me to push a bit harder. I had to show my grandson the beautifully shaped bushes. He said,”what a talent!”.. as always… hugs ~lynne~

  10. says

    Amazing! It’s like something out of a fairy tale! I was kind of wondering how you could set up a picnic at a place like that, but now I understand! You sure do things first class! The food was even beautiful! You are such a mystery to me, I’ve never seen your face! I can well imagine how hot it got as I have experienced the heat and humidity of PA…I can well imagine MD is worse! The topiaries you’ve shown are fabulous! I have never heard of this place, now I want to see it! I’ll have to check out your articles! Kudos…Liz

  11. says

    I remember this & am SO glad I got to see it again! Your efforts of cooking, hauling, staging in the sweltering heat are appreciated and most definitely cover shot worthy!!! I would love to see those gardens in person~ I love the racing hounds :-)

  12. says

    I was going to say AMAZING, and I saw that someone right before me did! But it truly is. You are so good that you could have your very own magazine just dedicated to you! Wonderful. Lori L

  13. says

    I was going to comment that those photos are magazine -worthy….and then I read on and found that they indeed were a magazine photo shoot…absolutely wonderful!!!

  14. says

    Oh, Yvonne…how much am I LOVING this??!?!??!!! Get down with your totally bad self, girl!!! Congratulations! This is fantastic! I am blown away!!! I love the sandwich treatment, too. Very picnicky! The whole vignette is just magnificent! Kudos!!!

  15. says

    Well, my friend, if ANYONE deserved the cover it is definitely YOU!!!!!!!!!!! I remember this from last year and was so happy to subscribe! This is the ULTIMATE picnic!!!! I never would have known it was done in a SCORCHING day!!!!!! You kept your calm and went above and beyond, as you always do! I am so honored to be your friend and inspire to be a LITTLE bit like you!!!!!! XO, Pinky

  16. says

    Yvonne, congratulations.. An honor well deserved. As you inspire us weekly, it’s nice to see that your talents are appreciated in this manner. I have never seen such an idyllic and wonderful setting. I love the plates, the napkins, the chargers, the green plate, the un-iced lemonade, the food, the dessert (yummy).. and your flowers. Not on misstep! Once again congrats.. well deserved on your part. thanks for sharing, xo marlis

  17. says

    What we won’t do to set a unique tablescape! Sounds like you suffered a lot for this one but it was SO VERY WORTH IT! Everything looks “magazine-worthy” as expected and you certainly didn’t disappoint those that hired you! Yvonne, you are very deserving of having your “work” singled out by magazines and I hope more offers come your way – your talent should be seen by the masses!

  18. says

    Oh Yvonne, what a gorgeous place! The grounds are amazing! I love those little topiary dogs running across the lawn. Looks like Edward Scissorhands was there! lol

    Your picnic is beautiful.


  19. says

    I of course love every single detail (like the gorgeous frilly pillows & how that motif was reincorporated in the beautiful frilly napkins, etc.)!!!

    And then I read your back story! Congratulations!@@!!! That’s fantastic and you are so deserving!!!

    Thank you so much for all the work/time/sweat/vision/talent that you put into the tablescapes that we all love so very much! Your time/talent, etc. is so appreciated!!!

    Lana In Italy

    PS I hope, please, that you get a chance to drop by my blog & leave a comment for a chance to win my 1st Giveaway! THANK YOU!!!

  20. says

    Dear Yvonne, oh if only we could be a guest at this so inviting table!. Our favorites are hydrangeas! Will have to keep this one in the library!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Renee and Angela

  21. says

    Oh this is lovely, Auntie Yvonne! I love all the little details you put into this…the twine around the sandwiches, the green fluffy pillows, and the dinner ware. This is beautiful!

  22. says

    Dear Yvonne,
    Your two articles were so gorgeous I nearly fainted when you sent me the images and your marvelous story to go with it. So much hard work and time to make our first issue so special. I knew we had the cover shot as soon as I laid eyes on that table.
    Hard to believe we are soon to celebrate one year! Thank you so mych for ebing a part of the Belle Team my friend, your prayers and support helped make it possible!
    Big hugs,

  23. says

    Such an amazing venue for a picnic. I loved each and every photo you shared. The place settings are gorgeous as well as your beautiful stemware to the amazing flower arrangement but I MUST ask, where did you find those fabulous pillows????

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  24. says

    Congratulations, Yvonne! What a beautiful setting. I so enjoyed reading the background story. i cannot imagine what it would have been like trying to shoot in the middle of the day. I’m warm just reading about it! You have an amazing eye for detail. Bravo!!


  25. says

    I wondered how you were able to set up in that fabulous setting! Nice to hear all about it. I’ve heard other stories about the less glamorous side of publishing. I’m glad you made it past the heat stroke, and was on the cover! Every inch of this wonderful picnic merits that.

  26. says

    What an amazing place for your gorgeous picnic setting! I love the soft colors of green and white with just a few touches of pink/peachy tones here and there; I’m glad you survived the heat! I certainly couldn’t tell from the photos…everything looked perfectly cool and collected!! I loved the pictures of the gardens, especially the topiaries of the “fox hunt”! So cute!

  27. says

    Hi lovely lady.
    You are an inspiration to me, everything is Beautiful. Love the pink and green together sweet lady. I remembered this from last year !!! you have a beautiful garden and your Tablescape is amazing. Congratulation on the Articl and cover story.
    XXOO Diane

  28. Anonymous says

    Yvonne: Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful God-given talents with all of us…you are truly an inspiration to me. Your picnic table with all the beautiful trimmings is So Yvonne!….Marti

  29. says

    Hello Yvonne,
    this is such a charming tablescape under this little roof. Really very special. I love the garden, especially the trimmed riders with the dogs.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  30. says

    Just incredible! Thanks for the back story, too — you really suffered for your art! This table includes so many fabulous ideas — LOVE the little individual pots of flowers at each place! I’m glad this was featured in a magazine — I think it should also be in a coffee table book!

  31. says

    You did an incredible job Yvonne. Only you would see to such details.

    Love the vintage iron table. You made it look so stunning. And the wrapped sandwiches – oh my – really, really special. Every bit of it is special. I really enjoyed being behind-the-scenes with you.

  32. says

    Hi Yvonne,
    That was my favorite article in the magazine! I know how much work that would be in the heat but it was definitely worth it all as so many have enjoyed it.
    Everything is perfection and the food looks delicious.

    Thank you for sharing,


  33. says

    Such amazing table and setting, so wonderfully set.

    Everything in the rihgt places it would be so nice to sit and have a cup of tea at the table.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Lots of Love,
    Karin Şen Cankan

    Karin Şen Cankan

  34. says

    Psst! I’ll let you in on a little secret; you have my favorite blog!! EVERYTHING you do is so beautiful, special or delicious. I have said to myself many times; wish you were my friend and neighbor! :)

  35. says

    What a perfect spread for a picnic Yvonne!! I have never seen a vintage picnic table like that with the fun awning! It that something you brought for shoot or something there at the lovely grounds already?

  36. says

    This is just the cutest table. I can’t believe you did this in the heat. You must have been melting! It’s just beautiful. Congratulations on the magazine ! Everything you picked out for the shoot is just perfect !! I was in Lucketts today and blogged a few things that caught my eye. Stop in and take a peek. What a talented person you are, blessed !!

  37. says

    This is JUST AMAZING!!!!!!!!! So picture perfect and fit for royalty…..what a gorgeous setting. I love it! You even managed to get the shade of pink in your lemonade just perfect, I am most impressed, they say its all in the details and you nailed it! I am saving this for my next posts to ponder post!

  38. says

    This is the picnic of perfection! How lovely — almost more than I can take in. I love the green hydrangeas with the soft pink roses — two of my favorites mixed together. This setting is a dream — thanks for sharing.

  39. says

    As I started reading this post, I’m thinking to myself “She schlepped ALL this stuff over 45 mins. away & set it up herself???” “She brought goblets that were over 80 years old outside???”
    When I got to the bottom of the post, I understood why. It is just BEAUTIFUL from beginning to end, Yvonne. I’m impressed with every single shot. You did a fabulous job!!!


  40. says

    Thank you for your sweet comment and visit On Crooked Creek. Those Sunflowers won’t be on our table…I allergic! The birds are the lucky ones…they are already devouring the seeds. . .another reason “Mr.ED” grows them for us! I did purchase some faux Sunflowers @ Michael’s today for the table!

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